Alhambra may be less than eight square miles, but it has well over a dozen car dealerships. While most people purchase or lease a car without a hitch, not everyone is so fortunate. Some consumers wind up with lemons, or defective cars that manufacturers cannot fix. California lemon laws protect consumers in these situations and provide a legal remedy when the dealer or manufacturer will not make good on a warranty. For help resolving your lemon issue, contact our Alhambra lemon law attorney for a free consult: 877-969-2809.
What does the law consider a “lemon?”
It is important to note that just because a car you purchased has a defect, it does not necessarily mean it is a lemon. There are certain criteria that have to be met in order for the lemon law remedies to kick in.
There are both federal and state laws that protect consumers from lemon purchases. California’s provisions regarding lemon cars are found in the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act in Civil Code section 1790. The statutes define a lemon as a vehicle that, within 18 months/18,000 miles of delivery:
- has serious defects, problems, or nonconformities that substantially affect its safety, value, or use;
- is still under warranty;
- has underwent several unsuccessful repairs by the manufacture; and
- has been out of service for more than 30 days since the purchase
If you purchased or leased a new car, truck, motorcycle, boat, or other vehicle and it has a serious defect that the manufacturer cannot fix, you probably have a lemon on your hands. You should start looking into your rights under California lemon laws and how to go about getting out from under the substandard vehicle you have.
What can I do about my lemon car?
The law requires sellers and manufacturers to uphold the terms of their warranties. If your car meets the above criteria, you have two available remedies:
1) You can request a refund. If you opt for restitution, the manufacturer must buy the lemon back from you at the actual purchase price, including any charges for transportation and manufacturer-installed options, collateral charges such as sales or use tax, license fees, registration fees, and incidental damages such as reasonable repair, towing, and rental car costs.
The amount of miles you drove the car between discovering the defect and taking your car in for repair can affect your refund. Under California law, using the following equation, manufacturers or sellers can deduct a certain amount from your recovery:
The mileage when you took the car in for its first repair divided by 120,000 multiplied by the price you paid when you purchased the car.
2) You can request a replacement. The replacement car must be “substantially identical” to your original car. If you opt for a replacement, the manufacturer will be responsible for paying for your taxes, license and registration fees, plus incidental damages.
You may have to pay the mileage deduction amount if you choose this remedy.
Note: You must take advantage of these available remedies within four years.
What can I expect from the process?
Lemon law cases often take a few months to resolve, but an attorney from The Law Offices of Consumer Law Experts, PC can expedite the process. We can help you get rid of your lemon so you can get back on the road. As soon as we begin working on your case, we will take the necessary steps to protect your rights and hold the manufacturer liable for your damages.
Worried about paying for an attorney? You should not be. When you enlist the help of our Alhambra lemon law attorneys, you do not have to be concerned about paying legal fees or out-of-pocket expenses. When we take legal action and force manufacturers to compensate you, we also make sure they pay your attorney’s fees and costs.